In the 11th installment of the Halloween franchise, the David Gordon Green directed Halloween of 2018 wasn’t the worst movie but certainly wasn’t the best. This film had plenty of great cinematography as well as countless homage scenes and score to the original. However, the 2018 Halloween movie fell flat in terms of script and awkwardly placed humor. Regardless, the worst part of this Halloween film was the final scene of the movie. This was the highly-anticipated fight scene between Laurie Strode and Michael Meyers.
Laurie had been training her entire life for this encounter. She willfully threw away any and all relationships with family because of her commitment to being properly prepared for this exact situation. Yet, she somehow appeared woefully outmatched and downright unprepared. Here is my full breakdown of the Halloween movie final scene and why Laurie Strode was so awful.
Be warned: major spoilers ahead.
Final Scene Mistakes Part 1, Preparation:
Laurie Strode’s disaster all begins when her son-in-law is murdered by Michael outside of the house. Rightfully so, she doesn’t bother stepping outside to check and see if he will survive. Instead, Laurie immediately shuts and locks the door and prepares for Michael’s assault on the house. Interestingly however, she doesn’t close and lock the gate that’s installed in front of the door as a barrier. She then puts her head to the door with no reasonable explanation as she now can’t see out of the window and would likely not be able to hear much through the door either. Due to this strategic act of genius, Michael is able to break through the front door glass on either side of her head and nearly crushes her skull.
Luckily, she was able to get a shot off from her gun that blows off one of Michael’s figures before being killed, Viper vs. the Mountain style. So, throughout all of her intense and life-altering training, she never learned how to escape from a man grabbing her from behind? Isn’t that one of the first things women learn in a self-defense class? I’m fairly certain kicking the balls and swinging your purse are more advance techniques.
Final Scene Mistakes Part 2, the Basement:
After narrowly escaping with her life, Laurie manages to make it to the hidden basement under the kitchen island. This is quite literally the safest place to hide from Michael because there’s almost no way of anyone knowing it exists. After hearing Michael walking around upstairs and seeing his movement through the floorboards, Laurie decides to shoot at him from the basement. Firstly, why in the hell would you give away your hiding spot that Michael clearly has no knowledge of? If you think it’s worth giving away your hiding spot for a chance to takedown Michael however, that’s a fair argument but the absolute last thing you should probably do is miss; which is exactly what she does. Keep in mind, Laurie has been training her whole life for this and has proven to be an excellent shooter based on previous scenes in the movie.
To further give away the perfect hiding spot and put her family in ever more immediate danger, Laurie claims that she needs to, “finish this,” and proceeds to open the perfectly hidden entrance to the basement. Walking up the stairs from a basement Michael knows you are in, out of slow moving counter in the middle the kitchen to a room that almost certainly has Michael in it, seems like a fairly difficult task. It almost seems like simply waiting for Michael to try and go down the stairs just to meet him with the military-grade arsenal you are standing next to would be a better idea. Instead, Laurie makes the decision to simply walk up the stairs and hope to God Michael doesn’t just finish the job right then.
Final Scene Mistakes Part 3, the House:
Laurie is now lurking around the house with a lever action rifle hoping to, “finish this.” That’s right, you heard me correctly. Of all the guns in the world to choose when hunting an unkillable, killing machine, Laurie picked a lever action rifle like she’s John Wayne on horseback. She comes across a closed closet that she believes Michael is likely hiding in. This is a fair concern based on previous behaviors from Michael. Why she still has closet doors or anything hanging in closets is another question entirely. Regardless, instead of simply shooting multiple rounds into the closet, she slowly walks to the closet door calling Michael’s name before opening the doors and looking through the hanged clothes. Thankfully, Michael wasn’t in the closet this time because the movie would have had a premature, yet arguably more believable, ending.
She continues her search for Michael throughout the house, searching room by room. Was she using military techniques for entering a room in a combat scenario? Of course not, she was just walking blinding into each room with her lever action rifle out in front of her. After she leaves each room, the audience learns that she has installed some pretty nifty defensive measures throughout the house. By pressing a button, steel gates drop down in a room’s door way, essentially creating a cage. Why she didn’t have this on the front door is a question for another time I suppose.
For whatever reason, Laurie chose to store manikins she previously shot in a room inside her house, rather than leaving them on the shooting range with the rest of the used target practice manikins. This is, of course, the last room she hasn’t checked. To make this second-floor room even better, there is a patio door that is completely opened. The glass to this door didn’t appear to be broken either and didn’t even seem to have any extra defensive measures, like even just an extra lock. No, this patio door that leads directly outside seemed to have just been open. As a quick reminder, Laurie knew Michael would be arriving to her house that night.
Nevertheless, Laurie decides to enter this room that she almost certainly knows he is in, rather than just enact the gate that is installed in the door frame. God forbid she decides to turn on a light before entering the room either. We also know the power is in fact working because the exterior floodlights are turned on. Needless to say, Michael is inevitably hiding behind one of these manikins. As if the giant just perfectly blends in with the pure-white, multiple shot wound suffering, naked, manikins.
Final Scene Mistakes Part 4, Prey Turned to Unprepared Predator:
So, Laurie quickly loses her lever action rifle and proceeds to lose in hand-to-hand combat with Michael, regardless of her life-time of training and KA-BAR knife. She’s thrown off the patio and lands lying lifelessly on the yard. As Michael looks away and looks back, Laurie’s body has vanished. This was a pretty sweet scene that was meant to represent the alternation of roles between the prey and the predator by using an identical scene that was previously used in a past Halloween. Unfortunately, Laurie had taken no action up to this point to prove to the audience that these roles were reversed. This would be like the Cleveland Cavaliers creating ads claiming that they will be better than ever, even though the team fired their coach and lost LeBron James.
At this point, Michael seems about as concerned with Laurie’s missing body as the rest of the audience as he heads back down to the kitchen. He now knows exactly where Laurie’s daughter and granddaughter are hiding because of Laurie’s brilliant strategy from earlier. As Michael rips off the secret entry way to their once-excellent hiding spot, Laurie’s daughter Karen cries out that she can’t handle the pressure anymore. This was apparently all part of her plan however as Michael steps onto the staircase just to be shot by Karen.
Karen was of course raised by Laurie to be the ultimate Michael killing machine before being taken away by child services at age 12. I guess I’ll allow for the excuse for her hitting Michael’s shoulder with a rifle from roughly 10 feet away instead of his head, chest or any other vital target, as the result of her not shooting a gun for a long time. Even though that’s a shot practically any adult human could have made, regardless of shooting experience, which she has had plenty of.
This is where Laurie, the now predator of sorts, emerges from the shadows behind Michael and has her bad ass line, “happy Halloween Michael.” Regardless of all of her training, Laurie has arguably the poorest attempt of the entire film for attacking Michael. Nevertheless, he falls down the stairs and the three women narrowly escape up the stairs to the kitchen. They then trap Michael in the basement with spikes in the doorway. That’s right, the basement was meant as a trap for Michael the entire time, obviously! The basement ignites in flames as Michael is left emotionlessly staring at Laurie, or maybe Karen or even the granddaughter Allyson since the movie never really clarifies exactly who the main protagonist was supposed to be.
So, this string of excellently thought out events leads me to a few questions:
1) Why Not Have an Exit to the Basement?
I understand the idea of trapping Michael rather than fighting him. Even with years of training, Michael appears to be an unstoppable force so fighting would probably be useless. Trapping Michael in an oven like Hansel and Gretel is actually a pretty solid idea. Why then, was there not an escape exit? There was only one way in and out of the basement so the plan completely relied on luring Michael down there and getting lucky enough to get out before he gets you. This seems like a pretty obvious flaw in an otherwise smart plan.
2) Why Not Simply Wait for Michael in the Basement?
Even if Laurie made the mistake of not installing an escape exit in the basement, her initial plan was clearly to trap Michael down there. If that’s the case, why did she pursue Michael upstairs where she didn’t know his exact location? As I previously stated, she could have simply waited for him to come down the stairs to the basement.
3) Why Not Install Cameras Throughout the House?
During the scene when Laurie, Karen and Allyson are hiding from Michael in the basement, the three have to look through the floorboards to see where he is. Even worse, when Laurie makes the genius decision to leave the trap basement in pursuit of Michael, she is forced to go room by room in search of him. Why not just install cameras all over the house with monitors in the basement to know his exact location? Laurie already had monitors in the kitchen that showed cameras from outside the house. Why would you only monitor outside the home knowing your plan was for Michael to enter the home the entire time as well as only have those monitors in the kitchen with the plan to hide in the basement?
4) Why Only Use the Basement as a Trap?
As I previously mentioned, Laurie had installed steel doors in each room that could easily be used as traps. Knowing Michael enjoys hiding in places inside of rooms to await his victims, it seems obvious that you could wait until he entered a room to lock him inside. During the final scene when they ignite the basement in fire, it shows that every room appears to have the same contraption that sparks a giant flame. This means that you wouldn’t have to wait for Michael to be lured into the basement. Why not just use the basement as a hiding place, watch which room he enters using cameras and monitors and use the trap doors to lock him in the room and ignite it? You would know he was trapped in that room, giving you ample time to escape from the house as it goes up in flames. Hell, security cameras can be viewed from your phone nowadays.
Conclusion and Rating
All-in-all, 2018 Halloween wasn’t a bad movie. It wasn’t necessarily scary but it had a decent story, some solid imagery and an excellent score. Some of the characters were questionable and the script was downright bad but overall I would award this Halloween movie 3 out of 5 recliners in my Chairgatin’ movie review.
The worst part of the entire movie though was the awful decisions Laurie Strode made. I understand characters in horror movies have to make poor decisions to create suspenseful scenarios but this was just bad. It was bad enough for me to write more than 2,000 words complaining and correcting these mistakes. I don’t mind directors taking a crack at their version of Michael Meyers in a new Halloween but maybe David Gordon Green and Danny McBride are better suited for comedy screenplays because the final scene of this Halloween movie was laughable.